Bjorn Lomborg has taken some real heat for his misrepresentations within and truthiness permeating his fantasy work Cool It. Over at SolveClimate, the typically excellent David Sassoon has taken the time to pull the string on the “evidence” for one of Lomborg’s key claims, that cold kills some 1.5 million Europeans each year and that extreme cold is more dangerous than extreme heat. At the end of the process, David finds: nothing there.
From page 17 of Lomborg’s work of fiction,
In Europe as a whole, about two hundred thousand people die from excess heat each year. However, about 1.5 million Europeans die annually from excess cold. That is more than seven times the total number of heat deaths. Just in the past decade, Europe has lost about fifteen million people to the cold. That we so easily neglect these deaths and so easily embrace those caused by global warming tells us of a breakdown in our sense of proportion.
I recommend that you check David’s discussion out, but in brief:
- Notes section refers to a WHO study.
- The WHO study says there were 1,865,000 million deaths in Europe in 2002, or 365,000 deaths more than Lomborg’s claims for just the deaths by excess cold.
- The WHO study lists out 45 causes of death, from malaria to iodine deficiency.
- Neither excess heat nor excess cold were “even listed as a cause of death.”
As David points out:
Bjorn has sent us on a wild goose chase. There is no evident foundation to his preposterous argument about deaths from excess cold.
Yet another example of the misleading, even directly dishonest, nature of Bjorn Lomborg’s work. That his work often takes the truth out of truthiness will not, sadly, keep him from the pages of newspapers like the Washington Post nor from NPR’s radio waves let alone the friendly denialist spaces of The Wall Street Journal. No, Bjorn is smooth and debonair, a quite charming man who will be on talk shows and in editorial boards, even though he is peddling recklessly false information.